Ben went back to work today…PANIC!! So now it’s just me and Phoenix at home in the day. Kudos to all single mums, god knows how they do it. Looking after a baby is relentless; even just having a break from one nappy change is a treat.
Last night I took Phoenix for a walk on my own without Ben for the first time. I thought I’d take the chance to get used to it whilst Ben was still in the house and could rescue me if needed. It was a good first step for my confidence but unbelievaby scary! At first I worried I’d put the pram up wrong and that it would fall apart mid-walk (it didn’t), then I thought everyone that we passed was going to attack us (they didn’t), and then I saw a dog who I thought might eat us both (it didn’t), and then, … I relaxed. I thought to myself, I can do this and actually really enjoyed the stroll.
So today when I got up I was pretty determined to keep up the good work and get out of the house again. I knew that the longer I left it, the more nervous I would get about taking him anywhere. So after Pheonix had had a good feed and was suitably ‘milk drunk’, I headed out. I walked 1 mile into town and went into some shops, exciting times! The walk there sent him right off to sleep and the trip was overall a big success. There was a slight nervous moment when he woke up the changing rooms of H&M but he seemed so confused about where he was that it blew his little mind right back into sleep.
I noticed some women pushing prams one-handed whilst on the phone – impressive stuff – so I tried some one handed pushing myself and crashed into a mirror…not quite there yet. I also observed that I was getting quite a lot of second glances whilst walking around. I wondered if this was because everyone could see by my face how petrified I was, when after crashing into said mirror, I saw my reflection and realised I was wearing a bright orange dress…and pushing a bright orange pram. I was somewhere in between coordinated chic and umpa lumpa, an interesting look. I don’t think any woman have ever been seen surrounded by so much orange.
I haven’t been in any shops for a while and was enjoying myself so much that time slipped away. I was on the look out for clothes which are easy to get your boobs out in. Turns out getting the actual boobs into them in the first place is somewhat of a problem at the moment. I suddenly realised feeding time was approaching and that I was literally pushing around a ticking time bomb. Oh god. I decided to bite the bullet and get on a bus home. I managed to get on the bus ok but the pram got stuck between the poles half way down the bus and I caused a human pile-up. I panicked a bit and looked around for people to do something – I’m not sure what I was expecting them to do but in the end I just sort of shoved it through and settled into the buggy space albeit sweating and out of breath…phew! I’m not sure my technique for getting off the bus was that great, it seemed to take me ages and was not a smooth manouver, will have to work on that one more – are you meant to reverse out?! I’m not sure. As soon as we got into the flat Phoenix awoke for his feed…BOOM! I’d made it. Next step will be to actually feed on the go, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet.
The breastfeeding is now going really well and he’s getting into a really good routine. He’s not very good when we have visitors around though and gets quite unsettled. I think he would quite like us to ostracise ourselves from the world until he’s a bit older! I know there are low breastfeeding numbers in this country (second lowest in the world after the USA, eek) and I can really see why lots of women give up in the first few weeks. It really is a massive tits ache – literally. It’s draining and there’s a few barriers you have to get through. Plus the baby is so dependant on the mum, there’s little dad can do to help. But for me the benefits are too massive to resist so I’m sticking at it. I’m not expressing just yet as I don’t want him to use a bottle for a little while but it will be good when I do as I’ll have a bit more freedom. Ben is desperate to get me onto that expressing machine, he thinks I’m some kind of dairy cow.